1979 All-Pro Team

The following is a list of players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro Team, the Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team and the Pro Football Writers Association, and Pro Football Weekly All-Pro teams in 1979. Both first- and second- teams are listed for the AP and NEA teams. These are the four All-Pro teams that were included in the Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League and compose the Consensus All-pro team for 1979.


Position First team Second team
Quarterback Dan Fouts, San Diego Chargers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW) Brian Sipe, Cleveland Browns (AP-2)
Terry Bradshaw, Pittsburgh Steelers (NEA-2)
Running back Earl Campbell, Houston Oilers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (AP, PFWA)
Walter Payton, Chicago Bears (NEA, PFW)
Wilbert Montgomery, Philadelphia Eagles (AP-2)
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers (NEA-2)
Walter Payton, Chicago Bears (AP-2)
Ottis Anderson, St. Louis Cardinals (NEA-2)
Wide receiver John Stallworth, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
John Jefferson, San Diego Chargers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Steve Largent, Seattle Seahawks (AP-2)
Harold Carmichael, Philadelphia Eagles (AP-2)
Ahmad Rashād, Minnesota Vikings (NEA-2)
Wes Chandler, New Orleans Saints (NEA-2)
Tight end Dave Casper, Oakland Raiders (AP, PFW)
Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns (PFWA)
Raymond Chester, Oakland Raiders (NEA)
Dave Casper, Oakland Raiders (NEA-2)
Ozzie Newsome, Cleveland Browns (AP-2)
Tackle Leon Gray, Houston Oilers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Marvin Powell, New York Jets (AP, PFWA, PFW)
Jon Kolb, Pittsburgh Steelers (NEA)
Russ Washington, San Diego Chargers (AP-2, NEA-2)
Stan Walters, Philadelphia Eagles (AP-2)
Marvin Powell, New York Jets (NEA-2)
Guard John Hannah, New England Patriots (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Joe DeLamielleure, Buffalo Bills (NEA, PFWA)
Bob Young, Houston Oilers (AP, PFW)
Ed White, San Diego Chargers (AP-2)
Doug Wilkerson, San Diego Chargers (NEA-2)
Gerry Mullins, Pittsburgh Steelers (NEA-2)
Joe DeLamielleure, Buffalo Bills (AP-2)
Center Mike Webster, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW) Jeff Van Note, Atlanta Falcons (AP-2)
Jack Rudnay, Kansas City Chiefs (NEA-2)
Special teams
Position First team Second team
Kicker Toni Fritsch, Houston Oilers (AP, NEA, PFWA)
Mark Moseley, Washington Redskins (PFW)
Mark Moseley, Washington Redskins (AP-2, NEA-2)
Punter Bob Grupp, Kansas City Chiefs (NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Dave Jennings, New York Giants (AP)
Ray Guy, Oakland Raiders (NEA-2)
Bob Grupp, Kansas City Chiefs (AP-2)
Kick Returner Rick Upchurch, Denver Broncos (PFWA)
Tony Nathan, Miami Dolphins (AP)
Ira Matthews, Oakland Raiders (PFW)
Rick Upchurch, Denver Broncos (AP-2)
Punt Returner Rick Upchurch, Denver Broncos (PFW)
J. T. Smith, Kansas City (PFWA)
Position First team Second team
Defensive end Lee Roy Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Jack Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Harvey Martin, Dallas Cowboys (AP-2, NEA-2)
Elvin Bethea, Houston Oilers (AP-2)
Bubba Baker, Detroit Lions (NEA-2)
Defensive tackle Randy White, Dallas Cowboys (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (PFWA, PFW)
Larry Brooks, Los Angeles Rams (AP)
Charlie Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles (NEA)
Bob Baumhower, Miami Dolphins (AP-2)
Curley Culp, Houston Oilers (AP-2)
Gary Johnson, San Diego Chargers (NEA-2)
Joe Greene, Pittsburgh Steelers (NEA-2)
Middle linebacker Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP, NEA, PFW)
Randy Gradishar, Denver Broncos (PFWA, PFW)
Randy Gradishar, Denver Broncos (AP-2, NEA-2)
Outside linebacker Jack Ham, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Robert Brazile, Houston Oilers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Dewey Selmon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (AP-2)
Jim Youngblood, Los Angeles Rams (AP-2)
Dave Lewis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (NEA-2)
Tom Jackson, Denver Broncos (NEA-2)
Cornerback Louis Wright, Denver Broncos (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Lemar Parrish, Washington Redskins (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Mike Haynes, New England Patriots (AP-2, NEA-2)
Mel Blount, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP-2, NEA-2)
Safety Mike Reinfeldt, Houston Oilers (AP, NEA, PFWA, PFW)
Donnie Shell, Pittsburgh Steelers (AP, NEA)
Gary Fencik, Chicago Bears (PFWA)
Tommy Myers, New Orleans Saints (PFW)
Thom Darden, Cleveland Browns (AP-2)
Ken Houston, Washington Redskins (AP-2)
Billy Thompson, Denver Broncos (NEA-2)
Tim Foley, Miami Dolphins (NEA-2)


AP = Associated Press All-Pro team; AP-2 Associated Press Second-team All-Pro; PFWA = Pro Football Writers Association All-Pro team; NEA = Newspaper Enterprise Association All-Pro team.; NEA-2 Newspaper Enterprise Association Second-team All-Pro; PFW = Pro Football Weekly All-Pro team; t = players tied in votes.


Ira Matthews

Ira Richard Matthews, III (born August 23, 1957) is a former professional American football player who played kick returner and punt returner for three seasons for the Oakland Raiders. Matthews stood 5"8' and weighed 175 lbs which made it difficult to catch him. He played collegiate football at the University of Wisconsin, where he led the nation in punt returns in 1978, averaging 16.9 yards per punt return, including three for touchdowns.

Matthews was drafted by the Raiders in the sixth round (#142 overall) of the 1979 NFL Draft, where he earned recognition as one of the greatest returners in the franchise's history. He was named to the NFL 1979 All-Pro Team as a return man during his rookie season. On October 25, 1979, Matthews set a Monday Night Football record for kick-off returns with a 104-yard return against the San Diego Chargers. Matthews was a member of the Oakland Raiders Super Bowl XV championship team. During his three seasons with the Raiders he helped lead his team to win the 1980 Wild Card, 1981 AFC West Conference Championship, and Super Bowl XV. His active NFL career ended at the end of his 1981 season due to injuries. In three seasons, Matthews returned 95 punts for 678 yards and 71 kickoffs for 1602 yards and a touchdown.

In 1983, Matthews resurfaced in professional American football when he signed mid-season with the Boston Breakers of the United States Football League. Appearing in 5 games, he returned 13 kicks for 210 yards and 3 punts for 15 yards.

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